Sharia Law Not Forbidden In Oklahoma Courts

Bob Siegel Bob Siegel 13 Comments

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Written by Bob Siegel and first published by Washington Times Communities, February 18, 2012. Used by Permission.

Once again, some appellate judges have made a ruling which overthrows the will of voting citizens. Such magistrates should be honored during this year’s Academy Awards show. After all, it can’t be easy for them to maintain a straight face while pretending to uphold democracy.

With most Americans looking westward at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent ruling about Prop 8 in California, a January ruling from the 10th Circuit concerning an Oklahoma case has slipped off the radar of many news commentary programs:

“The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling released Tuesday, affirmed an order by a district court judge in 2010 that prevented the voter-approved state constitutional amendment from taking effect. The ruling also allows a Muslim community leader in Oklahoma City to continue his legal challenge of the law’s constitutionality.

The measure, known as State Question 755, was approved with 70% of the vote in 2010. The amendment would bar courts from considering the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. ‘Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or sharia law,’ the law reads.”

“The appellate court opinion pointed out that proponents of the law admitted to not knowing of a single instance in which an Oklahoma court applied sharia law or the legal precepts of other countries.”

“‘This serves as a reminder that these anti-sharia laws are unconstitutional and that if politicians use fear-mongering and bigotry, the courts won’t allow it to last for long,’ said Muneer Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma. Awad sued to block the law, contending that it infringed on his 1st Amendment rights” (Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times, January, 10, 2012).

Is it possible that people in Oklahoma are exhibiting genuine fear rather than manipulative fear mongering? Could they be swimming up steam to avoid a problem before it flows through? Perhaps they heard about that Muslim gentleman in New Jersey who initially avoided a restraining order in the name of Sharia Law even though his ex-wife accused him of rape!

“A New Jersey family court judge’s decision not to grant a restraining order to a woman who was sexually abused by her Moroccan husband and forced repeatedly to have sex with him is sounding the alarm for advocates of laws designed to ban Sharia in America.”

“Judge Joseph Charles, in denying the restraining order to the woman after her divorce, ruled that her ex-husband felt he had behaved according to his Muslim beliefs — and that he did not have ‘criminal desire to or intent to sexually assault’ his wife” (Maxim Lott, Fox News, August 5, 2010).

True, an appellate court overturned this New Jersey case, but one would think that such a cozy relationship between judicial activism and certain segments of Islam would send chills up our spines even at a lower court level. Meanwhile, Oklahoma experiences the ruling of a higher court.

Of course, Politically Correct America already knows by heart the standard retort to such expressed concern: Many Muslims are peaceful and therefore it is unfair to characterize an entire religion with “a few bad apples.” True enough. But most concerned citizens are not denying the existence of peaceful Muslims. Instead, they are affirming the existence of a document fast on its way to antiquity, our U.S. Constitution.

This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.

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Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net

Many comments to posts are discussed by Bob over the air where anyone is free to call in and respond/debate. Call in toll free number: 1-888-344-1170. 

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Comments 13

  1. ‘Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or sharia law,’

    Bob,

    I am not familiar with the case or the court’s reasoning, but is it possible that they were concerned with the part about INTERNATIONAL LAW and not sharia law per se? For example, if this amendment were to have become law would it have overturned Diplomatic Immunity in the state of Oklahoma?

  2. Post
    Author

    Good question, Alger. They were concerned that there had not yet been a case with Sharia Law so they said a new law was not needed. Technically, it should not be needed because U.S. Constitution should protect against that, but Oklahoma people seeing the trend in judicial activism today, thought it might be good to make their state constitution more specific.

  3. I’m no attorney, but isn’t international law ratified by our government enforceable in U.S. courts? Does it not indeed become U.S. law, unless the courts deem that particular law unconstitutional?

    It’s a growing problem. The UN is DEFINITELY a threat to our freedom, as too often our national government blithely ratifies their edicts as enforceable U.S. law.

    Consider this item from today’s WS JOURNAL:

    Local reporter Isaac Gonzalez in the Sacramento [Calif.] Press, Feb. 2:

    “An appointee to the United Nations Human Rights Council has issued a four-page memo warning Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson that local officials could be violating the human rights of the homeless people living within the city. In the January 23rd dated letter, Catarina De Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for the United Nations human right council, says that the current policy of evicting the homeless from their ‘tent cities’ and denying the homeless with safe access to clean water is, in effect, prohibited discrimination based on their economic and social status.

    “Albuquerque reminded Johnson in her letter that the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is a protected freedom pursuant to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an agreement which the US Government signed on October 5th, 1977. The United States also publicly declared that it was ‘proud to take the significant step of joining consensus’ towards endorsing water and sanitation as a human right in September of 2010.”

  4. Post
    Author

    They probably could have and should have worded it more generally where religion is concerned but they called out Islam, because it is Sharia Law that is coming up in cases such as the New Jersey one mentioned in my article.

  5. Bob,

    It sounds to me like there were a lot of problems with this proposed Constitutional Ammendment and perhaps the Court wasn’t simply ruling that Sharia Law should be allowed.

    Maybe sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious and a little further investigation is warranted.

  6. Post
    Author

    Not obvious eh? A state law that merely affirms our federal Constitution, claiming that neither International Law nor Islamic Law should be used in its place, an amendment being proposed because they see the tide of the times? Oh it’s obvious. It’s plenty obvious. But if you think otherwise, I would be more than happy to debate this issue with you over the radio. With your certainty that I have not given the “further investigation that is warranted” such a debate should be a cake walk for you. What do you say?

    Warmest Regards

    Bob Siegel

  7. Bob,

    I’ll maintain my anonymity for now, thank you. It allows for a discussion of the issues rather than personalities.

    The issue here, as I see it, is not whether Oklahoma should follow Sharia Law; I think we agree that Sharia Law has no place in a U.S. Courtroom. I hope we agree that no other religious doctrine does either, but maybe that is a topic for another day.

    The issue is whether there were other problems with the proposed Constitutional Ammendment which led to the Court having no choice but to throw it out. I mentioned diplomatic immunity, Erik mentioned that the proposed amendment singled out one religion. A closer read might uncover other issues. That is what I meant by further investigation.

  8. Post
    Author

    I understand about not coming on the show. No problem. I did not mean to put you on the spot. Generally, I prefer to treat readers and their comments with respect. I believe disagreements can be done in a civil manner. When it seems somebody is being patronizing, then I like to challenge them to conversations in real time. Your comment seemed patronizing:

    “Maybe sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious and a little further investigation is warranted.”

    However, perhaps you did not intend to come across that way. If that is the case, I sincerely apologize. (I did research a great deal before writing the piece, for what it is worth.)

    By the way, we agree that religious doctrine should not be in the Constitution. As a Christian I have zero motive to force Christianity on fellow Americans.

    As for judges giving specific refined decisions about why they oppose a law, they do that all the time and yes, they did it this time as well. The reason was quoted right up front in the L.A. Times piece I used:

    “The appellate court opinion pointed out that proponents of the law admitted to not knowing of a single instance in which an Oklahoma court applied sharia law or the legal precepts of other countries.”

    But the fact that judges slice and dice does not negate the fact that our Constitution is being eroded a bit at a time with all kinds of diverse issues fueled by judicial activism. Once one decision is made, some other case cites the earlier one as precedent, etc.

    Warmest Regards

    Bob Siegel

  9. Alger, please take a listen sometime to Bob Siegel’s outstanding
    radio program (Sunday at 6:00 pm on KCBQ am 1170, or the Saturday
    replay at 11:00 pm). The show runs One hour.

    Mr. Siegel is a formidable but courteous advocate, who can trade
    verbal jousts without losing either his sense of humor or his
    perspective. It is quite an Honor for you to be invited as a
    guest debater there.

    I recommend Bob’s program to anyone who likes thinking while
    listening to the Radio. Archived episodes can be heard here
    at any time: http://bobsiegel.net/radio_archive/

    Keep up the Great work, Bob!

  10. Post
    Author
  11. Bob,

    Over the last couple of years I have read most, if not all, of your posts on Rostra and although we definitely have different political beliefs, I have a great deal of respect for your intellect and thought process. I was certainly not trying to patronize; I was simply playing off your own tag line and trying to be clever – obviously I failed in that regard.

    I do believe, at least in this instance, that you knee-jerked your reaction and responded viscerally because the case concerned Sharia Law.

    I would contend that only an activist judiciary would have been able to find the proposed amendment Constitutional, because of the other issues already discussed. Bottom line, I am not convinced that this ruling was in any way an attempt to allow Sharia Law in Oklahoma and I do think that your post unnecessarily raises that fear.

  12. Post
    Author

    Alger

    It’s a valid fear because of things going on all over our country. I gave one example instead of a list: The New Jersey case. I could have listed many others. The people in Oklahoma or in any state have a right to be concerned. The problem is less with Sharia and more with our own judicial activism, with Sharia being just one of many possible future effects.

    However, I did not give a “knee jerk reaction.” because of the discussion. Sharia Law concerns me no more than about 20-30 other things I could name that are going on the world right now (many of which you’ve read on the Rostra.) In any event, I accept your explanation that you did not intend to come across patronizing. . I am sure all of us at times come across in ways we do not intend. For example, I came across to you like one giving a “knee jerk reaction” 🙂

    Thanks for the kind words about respecting despite our different politics. Feeling is mutual.

    Take care, my friend.

    Bob

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